Kolkata: With the Indian cricket team currently looking for a coach, Pakistani pace legend Wasim Akram and former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar batted for a home grown expert for the job, citing their knowledge about domestic cricketers on Tuesday.
Incumbent coach Duncan Fletcher’s tenure ended after India’s flop World Cup defence where they crashed out in the semis against eventual champions Australia.
While Vengsarkar picked Akram to take up the team India's coaching mantle, Kolkata knight Riders (KKR) bowling coach said it was difficult for him to make himself available for full-time coaching owing to his commercial and family commitments.
The duo participating in an interactive event at the Delhi Public School here said it was imperative for the coach to know about the domestic players, including the players from the Under-19 and Indian A teams.
"Today a team doesn't need to be coached like kids, rather you need a person who can man-manage. A foreign coach often goes on holiday when there is a domestic tournament and there are no international commitments," said Akram.
“For me, you need a coach who knows the domestic players and can pronounce their names. I think a local coach is the answer for India.”
Echoing Akram's thoughts, Vengsarkar expressed his reservations about a foreigner taking up the job.
"I feel Duncan Fletcher should not continue. A foreign coach is not aware what's happening in the domestic circuit or the Under-19 cricket or about India A players,” he said.
"You have to have a coach who is interested in Indian cricket. A guy who can spot and groom young talent, which I don't think foreign coaches are interested in doing."
"There was a foreign coach who stayed at a Mumbai hotel but did not even visit the Ranji final being played between Mumbai and Bengal at the Wankhede Stadium once, which was just a kilometre away from the hotel," said the former batsman and India skipper.
Reacting to Vengsarkar calling him as the right choice, Akram said it was difficult for him to coach a national team.
"For me, coaching a national team will be tough considering my commentary commitments, my job with Kolkata Knight Riders and of course my family. It will be tough for me because Indian team travels all year round. At the tender age of 49, I don't think I can stay away from my family," said Akram.
Akram though said as a former cricketer it was his duty to pass on to youngsters whatever he has learnt.
"People often ask me why being a Pakistani I coach youngsters from India. For me, be it Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Sri Lankan kids, whoever comes to me, it's my duty to teach them whatever I can," said Akram.